The Spinward Front
Fallow Basin Incident
“There are few things like the fury of an orbital strike, and none so terrifying to behold from the surface of a world. It is as if the hand of the God-Emperor Himself is reaching down to wipe away His enemies in a storm of light and fire.”
–Master of Ordnance Halbast Dain, 17th Scintillan Airborne Assault Group (Attached)
Since the orbital strike normally cordial relations between the Imperial Navy and Guard have turned frosty. While the casualties suffered by the guard were nominal from a logistical standpoint (approximately 1000 dead from friendly fire), the Scintillan leadership on Kulth see the incident as a direct affront by a Naval battlegroup determined to show them up.
Along with the Brontian Longknives, poor intelligence meant that the Catheric 133rd suffered the brunt of the casualties in the Basin. A small victory however was the large numbers of advanced recon elements from J and K Company who were able to make it to the exclusion zone before the strike fell, despite overwhelming Ork numbers and a complete collapse of ground command. While the sons of Cath left a good 350 men behind on Aeryas, the toll could and should have been far more catastrophic. Several low-level commanders were granted minor commendations and awards for their action – including Sergeant Saul Gavael who was awarded the Medallion Crimson for continuing to lead his squad out of the basin in the face of grevious personal injury.
Rumours persist that the theatre’s lieutenant-commander Aleksander Jupine was only rescued due to the actions of one such Catheric unit, however the Scintillans have made no official acknowledgement of this. The relationship between the Scintillans and Catherics has deteriorated terribly with Colonel Renault of Cath directely accusing the Scintillan commanders of being responsible for the casualties by withholding information about the strikes until it was too late to retreat.
In a footnote, Platoon Lieutenant Tomon Gant of J Company was executed on the field for duplicity by Commissar Vorgan. His service record will be blacked out on official regimental histories.